Scripture Verse

As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:40

Introduction

illustration
The Shadow of Death
William Holman Hunt, ca. 1872

Words: Isa­bel­la J. Post­gate, A Christ­mas Le­gend, and Oth­er Vers­es (Lon­don: Simp­kin, Mar­shall, 1889), num­ber 10, alt. The Shadow of Death Till the Morn.

Music: Ma­no­ah ar­ranged from Giao­chi­no A. Ros­si­ni in Col­lect­ion of Church Mu­sic, by Hen­ry W. Great­or­ex, 1851 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Post­gate (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

portrait
Giaochino A. Rossini
(1792–1868)

Lyrics

All day the Shepherd sought the sheep,
And called them home to rest;
His piercèd head now pillowed lies
On earth’s green, gentle breast.

At least, she loved Him as her child,
And did her Maker hail;
For in His hour of anguished pain
Her very sun grew pale.

He trod her thorniest, dreary ways,
With footprints traced in blood;
He knew the guerdon waiting Him—
The nails and cross of wood!

To see God thus, the holy ones
In lowly reverence bow;
But His own brethren markèd not
The glory round His brow.

He bears long years of toil and pain,
And pays for them the price;
He pours at last His life blood out
To crown the sacrifice.

Now for a space the earth He made
Holds Him in her embrace;
While soft white wings of angels round
Guard well the holy place.

Soon will He waken. Night speeds fast,
The golden day is near;
The eastern sky is glowing now
And signs of dawn appear!

A ray of Heaven’s glory bright
Pierces death’s dark, ancient prison;
The angels fold their pinions now
And whisper, He is ris’n.